The Kootenay Ice announced this afternoon that third-year defenceman Cale Fleury will serve as the team’s new captain.
In a press release, general manager Jeff Chynoweth named a new leadership group today which also includes forwards Vince Loschiavo, Austin Wellsby and defenseman Kurtis Rutledge as alternate captains.
“Cale Fleury has earned the respect of his teammates and coaches throughout his two and a half seasons with our club because of his commitment to hard work both on and off the ice,” Chynoweth said in the release. “Cale is only the fourth 18 year-old player to serve as captain in our club’s history which speaks to his maturity and leadership qualities.”
Cale Fleury becomes the 21st captain in franchise history, and is only the sixth defenseman to wear the ‘C’ for the Ice.
Up until now, the Ice have not had a team captain this season. The change in leadership comes a week after Kootenay traded 20-year veteran forwards Zak Zborosky and Matt Alfaro — both alternate captains — to the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
Fleury was previously an alternate captain, and was the only player wearing a letter in the Ice’s last three road games.
A day before the trade of Zborosky and Alfaro was made official, speaking of players who would step up into leadership roles, head coach Luke Pierce praised both Fleury and Wellsby.
“I think the way Cale Fleury carries himself and plays the game, he’s a pretty obvious leader of our group,” Peirce said. “I think Austin Wellsby has done a good job [too], he keeps things light, he’s a guy that people really enjoy being around.”
Fleury will make his debut as captain of the Ice during tomorrow night’s game at home against the Prince Albert Raiders.